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Bernie Fine won’t face state charges, but feds a different story


Mike Miller

This happened in the Bernie Fine case Wednesday morning.

It’s not that Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick didn’t buy the accusations against the former Syracuse assistant coach. It’s that he can’t do anything about it because the statute of limitations related to the sexual molestation charges by Bobby Davis and Mike Lang had passed.

“Bobby, I’m sorry it took so long,” Fitzpatrick said. “I wish I had met you as a prosecutor in 2002. Even more importantly, I wish I had met you as a prosecutor back in the 1980s. We wouldn’t be here today.”

(His full statement can be seen here.)

However, this isn’t over for Fine.

The accusations by a third man, Zach Tomaselli, 23, may still apply. His claims do fall within the accepted period. And the feds are on the case. From the AP:

Investigators searched Fine’s home, office and school locker, looking for pornography that could be used “to sexually arouse or groom young males” to have sex, court records say. The investigators took computers, cameras, disks and records, among other things. They’re also looking for any records that would detail Fine’s contact with boys.

However, Fitzpatrick isn’t completely buying Tomaselli’s story, stating “there is proof that Tomaselli fabricated this allegation.” Fitzpatrick isn’t charge of that case, though.

That statement did not amuse Tomaselli.

“I found that highly inappropriate,” he told The Post-Standard. “He really knows little or nothing about the case.”

This case is far from over. But perhaps things are finally a little less murky.

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